, pub-6463624976770492, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Proud to be a Sikkimese: 01/02/15 - 01/03/15

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A white capped redstart at 13000ft at Ganthang

Gnathang at the height of 13000 ft is a beautiful place compared to Ladhak in north India. I have been to this place few times and each time the charm of this silent valley attracts me. Be it the famed British cemetery or the Baba Dham nearby, this place do have visitors all the year.
My last visit to Ganathang that was on 14.09.2014 had something new to add to my readers. I came upon a white capped redstart. Basically, I had been much familiar with this bird species at Shantinagar, Singtam, my home that I find every time I visit the nearby river. The elevation of my place is around 1400 ft and it did amaze me to find one at the height of 13000 ft. Later I get to know that that this bird was in a breed phase. It was normal for this bird to reach for higher altitudes for breeding. Only one bird was found at an undergoing construction house, moving around.

White capped redstart is popular river water bird and can be prominently distinguished with its white pattern on its head and brown red spots under its wing.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Letter send by Danny Danzongpa's Secretary Madan Mohan Arora

Danny Danzongpa's Secretary Madan Mohan Arora's letter send to me

It was a very sad news that Danny Danzongpa's Secretary Madan Mohan Arora had passed away on February 10.  It was published in web pages that Arora had a long association  with Danny, since his 'Boxer' days. He was more than a Secretary to the Denzongpa family. More popular for his simplicity, Arora was loved by all film fraternity as it was seen many popular actors of all age paid visit to his prayer meet.

Denzongpa family at the prayer meet. (NDTV)
I remember Madan Arora for the two reply letters he had send to me during 2002 and 2003 when i wrote to Danny Denzongpa.  One of the letter is published above in my post where I had then written to Danny Denzongpa congratulating him for the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India after Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhusan and Padma Bhusan.

The reply was unexpected but the words written in the page was something i still cherish. Thank You, Arora Sir....May you rest in peace. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rs. 95,000 worth 16 pumpkin seed

One of the reasons that I am getting less time for my blog is due to my involvement in agriculture field. You heard it right, we are into agriculture and believe me we just had our first vegetable and that was tori ko saag. It might have been a small offering from this huge field, nevertheless we are enjoying it and that is what matter the most.
We had taken a 5 acre land on lease and have sowed tori (mustard), Anupama bean and potato right now and in coming days we shall be into zinger and cardamom, while plans of integrated farming is also in the threshold.  
One of the motives we are into this area, where three of whom are associated partners are truly raw persons when it comes of farming. We are together; with our interest and for the support of Sikkim State’s mission of Organic State. With each passing days we are learning and with each passing days our interested are also getting deep-rooted
We just plucked our mustard leaves (for vegetables) and it was a wonderful experience. I personally went to the field and plucked it off and it was fun and excitation above all.
Today (February 10), when I am writing these liners, I would like to narrate an interesting anecdote from a person I met him today. I do not want to mention his name right now; well he is a simple farmer, a state awardee and a power house of knowledge about farming.
He shared his experiences about farming and one of his incidents really impressed me about his intuition to know more. In one of his account he had visited Nepal to his son who was studying at Kathmandu. He had heard about a farm in Bhaktapur that he wanted to make a trip. Despite the distance from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur, he decided to make a visit. In the farm, he was very interested about a particular species of pumpkin that was growing like a papaya plant. He tried his best to know about the plant but no one was there to tell him. Just then, he came to know that there was a vacancy for a worker at the farm and he just enrolled his name at that farm.
Next morning at eight, in a half pant and shirt looking more like a person seeking job he visited the farm. By noon, he had learned all the techniques of growing that pumpkin species and even where it could be bought. Immediately after the noon, he left for his hotel and packed up his goods and left for Kathmandu. He searched for the shop from where the seeds were available and when he came back to Sikkim, he bought with him 16 seeds of that pumpkin species. In his word he said, thirteen seeds yielded him about 95,000 of profits in that year. The year than was 1995.
It was very interesting hearing him and I am sure, I will work out from the advices he had given to me.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

My interview for Gonit Sora web magazine (2014)

1.       Please give a brief introduction of yourself. (A short bio. including where are you from)
Hi, I am Shital Pradhan from Shantinagar, Singtam, Sikkim. I am a primary school teacher at Sakyong Chisopani JHS; a blogger and a biodiversity admirer from the heart. I started blogging in 2007 with my popular blog on Sikkim aptly called Proud To Be a Sikkimese ( )”; From this January (2014), I am working on my new blog “Sikkim Biodiversity” (
 2.       We learn that you were part of a mothing event concurrent to the observance of the National Moth Week 2014. Tell us about your event. (Where and when did it take place etc?)
Since, I am interested in clicking photographs of rich Biodiversity of Sikkim so, when I learned about Moth Week, I got excited and wanted to be part of it. I had not heard anyone in Sikkim following this event till now. The only difference I made was, I will be clicking moths for a month. My residence is at Shantinagar, Singtam is near the river and I usually come across different moths and other insects moving around bulbs and CFL. In the last three weeks except for two moths from Gangtok and Chisopani, I had clicked more than hundred moths at my residence.
 3.       Was the event a private or public? How many people participated?
This was a solo event and I had been sharing all the moth photographs at my face book page ( Later on with all the scientific descriptions, I shall post it on my Sikkim Biodiversity Blog.
4.       Was this a first mothing event on your part? Since when have you been involved in such an interesting event?
Earlier I had participated at Big Bird Day event that was limited to birds. In regard with moths, this is my first experience.
 5.       When did you first get interested in moths? Why do you find them intriguing?
My first ever moth photograph was Acherontia lachesis (Death's-head Hawkmoth) in 2011. I am interested in all the biodiversities beauty so nothing in particular. But I want to add, I like bigger moths, those bright colours and their lengths compared to smaller ones.
 6.       What exactly do you do in a mothing event? Tell us in brief. What are the objectives?
I look for clicking different varieties of moths every night. I find myself fortunate to come across new moths every night and only couple of moths do get repeated clicks. I click the photographs and share it at facebook to get identified by the experts. I feel happy when someone identifies the insect.
 7.       Do you have knowledge about any other similar events taking place elsewhere in the country? Are you connected with the people engaged in similar activity?
Through face-book, I came to know about few people interested in Moths.
 8.       Do you share your data/ information you gather along with others engaged in similar activity or any society associated with the lepidopterans?
I have not done yet. I will share it in my blog.
9.       Do you have any pictures or images of your event? Would you like us to share them in our website?
I can share with you, send me your email.
10.   Lastly, have you come across any particular species of moth that has intrigued you the most? If yes, why?

Golden Emperor moth has fascinated me the most in recent times. I simply loved its colour and its four eyes.